Not one near miss, but three

The hullaballoo over Armando Galarraga's near-perfect game, and the way he lost it, brought to mind Dave Stieb, who has been out of baseball since 1998.

Stieb, 52, fell one out short of no-hitters in consecutive starts for Toronto during the 1988 season, one when a ball took a bad hop and the other on a bloop hit.

His chance for a perfect game was broken up the next season when Roberto Kelly doubled with two outs in the ninth.

Stieb finally pitched the only no-hitter in Blue Jays' history in 1990.

"If he never gets one, he probably will look back at it," Stieb said of Galarraga. "They creep up in my head from time to time and it's been 20-some years."

Canseco continues to back Clemens

Former big-league slugger Jose Canseco said he told a federal grand jury in Washington that he had never seen former pitching star Roger Clemens use steroids.

The grand jury has been hearing witnesses as it considers whether to indict Clemens for allegedly lying to Congress two years ago, when he denied using steroids or human-growth hormone.

Canseco maintained his support for the pitcher, again saying there's no evidence that Clemens ever used performance-enhancing drugs.

Canseco also said Clemens knew about his own drug use, but never asked to get in touch with suppliers.

Junior will be back

Agent Brian Goldberg told the Associated Press that Junior Griffey's quiet exit from baseball is not the last time the Seattle Mariners will see him.

He said Griffey's new role is going to be long term but it's unlikely to be one that has Griffey in uniform daily as a coach, at least initially.

The former AL MVP and owner of 630 home runs - fifth-most in major-league history - retired on Wednesday.

Stats and stuff

Tim Wakefield pitched six innings for Boston on Thursday, giving him 2,7692/3 in his Red Sox career, second to Roger Clemens' 2,776. . . . Detroit's Miguel Cabrera leads the AL with 51 RBIs and is among the leaders with 16 homers and a .352 average, but isn't embracing triple-crown talk. "It's too early for that," he said.

Noteworthy

Cleveland's Grady Sizemore will undergo potential season-ending surgery on his left knee Friday in Colorado. At the minimum, the all-star centerfielder is expected to miss at least six weeks. . . . Kansas City claimed righthander Kanekoa Texeira off waivers from Seattle and designated righty Brad Thompson for assignment. . . . The Athletics exercised their option to play the 2011 season in the Oakland Coliseum, although the team continues to seek a new venue in the Bay Area.

Contact staff writer Don McKee at dmckee@phillynews.com.

This article contains information from the Associated Press.